Latest news

Harmonization of COVID-19 Phone surveys in CGIAR

Date: May 19, 2020

Thanks to those who joined us for the Socio-economic Data Community of Practice webinar ‘Harmonizing of COVID-19 Phone Surveys in CGIAR.’ We hope you found the discussions on different phone survey approaches used by CGIAR research centers and efforts to harmonize approaches to COVID-19 data collection insightful.

For those who could not make it or want to review again please find the recording here (this version has been cleaned to take out some of the technical glitches we unfortunately encountered):

Also linked to the left are downloadable slides with narration by each speaker:.

We are working on a blog to provide further insight on the topics covered and address specific questions and themes brought raised during the webinar.

The questions raised can be seen on the discussion forum of the CoP. Feel free to interact there.

Launch of AgriFoodTrust

Testing and Learning Platform for Digital Trust and Transparency technologies

Date: January 16, 2020, updated February 20, 2020

Feeding 10 billion people in 2050 nutritiously, while staying within planetary boundaries under climate change is a daunting challenge. Technically a lot is possible, but making that work requires doing things differently.

Using blockchain and related technology to enhance trust can be a game-changer for low and middle income countries. To develop transparent food systems over the next decade requires developing the use cases that work and the knowledge base to kick start the process.

This requires rigorous scientific research on what works and what doesn't and a portal to exchange this knowledge.

The platform was launched at the Strike Two Summit on February 20, 2020 in Amsterdam. (read more...)


Before the next CoP SED newsletter is released, various working groups will hold virtual meet-ups:

  • Blockchain Coalition
  • FAIR Working Groups 100Q, SociO!, OIMS, and CAPI
  • Gender Meets Big Data
  • Novel Data Analytics
  • Ethics, Privacy, Data Confidentiality, and Cyber-Security

Because the dates for virtual meet-ups, webinars, and workshops are not always known months in advance, please pre-register below to revive an invitation to any particular event.

Two new reports available

Gender meets big data

Many CGIAR gender scientists have a qualitative research background, including researchers in the agri-food systems research programs. This suggests untapped potential in terms of using qualitative gender data collected through Focus Groups Discussions (FGD), Key Informant Interviews (KII) and other forms of Participatory Action Research (PAR).

However, these datasets vary widely on how data is structured and the detail of documentation provided. By facilitating the tagging, findability and accessibility of quantitative and qualitative gender data The working group gender meets Big data aims to facilitate mixed methods research by providing opportunities for both qualitative and quantitative researchers to exchange insights and create a stronger dialogue. This report is the outcome of a mini-grant procided by the CoP on socio-economic data to the CGIAR Gender Platform late 2018 to identify and tag relevant gendered data sets

The second report from the community of practice on socio-economic data, "Findability of gender data sets ", presents the results of the work conducted in the working group Gender meets Big Data.

Blockchain for food

The global food system is under pressure and is in the early stages of a major transition towards more transparency, circularity, and personalization. In the coming decades, there is an increasing need for more food production with fewer resources. Thus, increasing crop yields and nutritional value per crop is arguably an important factor in this global food transition.

Biofortification can play an important role in feeding the world. Biofortified seeds create produce with increased nutritional values, mainly minerals and vitamins, while using the same or less resources as non-biofortified variants. However, a farmer cannot distinguish a biofortified seed from a regular seed. Due to the invisible nature of the enhanced seeds, counterfeit products are common, limiting wide-scale adoption of biofortified crops. Fraudulent seeds pose a major obstacle in the adoption of biofortified crops.

A system that could guarantee the origin of the biofortified seeds is therefore required to ensure widespread adoption. This trust-ensuring immutable proof for the biofortified seeds, can be provided via blockchain technology.

The third report from the community of practice on socio-economic data, "Blockchain For Food: Making Sense of Technology and the Impact on Biofortified Seeds", presents the results of the work commissioned to The Fork linked to the Blockchain Coalition.

download the reports

courtesy of Gideon Kruseman, May 2, 2019
courtesy of Gideon Kruseman, March 9, 2019

Who are those other CoP members?

If you are wondering who those other CoP members are, have a look at the diagram. In May 2019 there were nearly 500 people signed up to the newsletter (Tier 1 members, see membership section below) from CGIAR, Academia, Business, NGOs, government and multilateral organizations.

As of March we have over 650 members.

There is a steady increase in membership.

Twitter feed of #CoP SED

Who we are

Community of Practice on Socio-Economic Data

This is the starting place for shared collaborative site of the Community of Practice on Socio-economic Data (#CoP_SED) which is part of the CGIAR Platform for Big data in Agriculture.

We created this in April 2019 to accelerate and enhance the collaboration amongst community of practice members. Over the next few months we, the members of the community, will populate thus site with relevant content.

This the the home of the various working groups of the CoP:

  • SociO! The working group on a socio-economic ontology. Jointly with the CoP on ontologies
  • 100Q. The working group data standardization and harmonization.
  • OIMS. The working group on a platform and ontology independent, flexible and extensible metadata schema.
  • CAPI. The working group on best practices in computer aided personal interview software.
  • Blockchain coalition. The working group on using distributed ledger technology in complex dynamic agri-food systems in low and middle-income countries.
  • Gender meets Big Data. The working group on gendered big data . Jointly with CGIAR Gender Platform.
  • Ethics, Privacy, Data Confidentiality and Cyber-security. The name says it all.
  • Informal group of CGIAR-IRB folks.

for more information on the working groups....

Moreover, this is where members in general can find resources on a variety of topics, discuss issues and connect with others.


Membership information:

Tier 1 be informed: Tier 1 membership occurs when joining the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and checking the interest box for the community of practice on socio-economic data. This membership just ensures you get the general emails send out by the CoP (newletters, webinar announcements). This is a passive membership without much direct interaction. Tier 1 members also receive general newsletters and announcement of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.

Some resources are available to Tier 1 members and others interested in our work.

Tier 2 be engaged: Tier 2 membership is through our linkedIn group CGIAR BIG DATA - Socio-Economic Data CoP . This allows posting of general messages and is useful for slightly more active members. This is good for visibility, networking and a great way to share (re-)post blogs, publications, etcetera.

Tier 3 contribute: Tier 3 membership is meant for the most active members of the CoP..

#CoP_SED teamwork site: This is the area where active members working together the generate CoP outputs collaborate

#CoP_SED google drive: This is the place where CoP members can find resources, meeting notes, presentations

#CoP_SED Forum /message board: This is the place to discuss issues related to topics covered by the working groups, general things related to the CoP or anything else...

Use the apply for access button to be part of the movement, fill out the form

tweet that you joined the CoP SED collaborative space!

Fast access to other resources

Fast access often requires members to sign-up first.

(apply for access first using button above)

#CoP_SED teamwork site: Tasks, milestones for each working group are found here

#CoP_SED Forum /message board: Messaging for working group specific issues. (working group forums by invitation)

Some working group specific direct links (by invitation only).

Most resources are on our #CoP_SED google drive: This is the place where CoP members can find resources, meeting notes, presentations

There are a few resources that are restricted to CGIAR members of the CoP

Discussion Forum

The discussion forum for the community of practice was initiated in may 2020: